Obstacles. This past Sunday our children learned about the exiles returning home to Jerusalem from Babylon, part of our three-year chronological bible study. They learned about Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah. The loved saying, “Zerubbabel.” As God’s chosen people tried to rebuild, they continued to run into obstacles. There were even people who did not want to see them succeed and worked against them. Have you ever run into that?
As bible class teachers, children’s ministers and parents, what obstacles have you come across in your pursuit of God? How about in your journey to train up and raise kids for Christ? We may become discouraged when kids do not engage, when it feels as though they are not interested in God in the least. Sometimes we lose motivation as kids simply quit showing up. There are times of frustration when we hear about our children being hurt or bullied and we want to jump in to fix it, but there is not a quick, easy fix. How about time? Does a lack of time ever get in the way of serving God? There are so many obstacles that can interrupt our walk with God if we let them.
We can learn from the Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah still today. There was prayer, fasting and dedication to God. Yes, fear got the best of them at times and the work stopped; however, they listened to the encouraging words of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah. Nehemiah never backed down and encouraged the people he was leading in rebuilding the walls. The point is, with God, we can accomplish great things for Him. Pray, pray and pray some more. There is amazing power in prayer. Surround yourself with people who love and support you, who will encourage you to keep working for and trusting God.
Remember, God is at work. Allow God to work through you. Be His hands, His feet, His mouthpiece to spread His message. We need to persevere in doing God’s work and let Him take care of the rest. He never said it would be a cakewalk. On a brighter note, focus on the incredible feeling you get as you overcome obstacles with God’s help and see children (and their parents) loving God.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. –Galatians 6:9 (NIV)